Lemuria at SXSW

Emerging punky-pop (not to be confused with pop punk) curators and sound designers Lemuria are celebrating their first SXSW-sanctioned appearance at the festival this year and we caught up with founders Sheena and Alex to talk about the shows, preparation for their new record, and how turnkey their relationship has been with Bridge 9 Records.

You guys just played Mohawk earlier today—how was the show? And what’s your agenda for the week?

Sheena: Today’s show was awesome, it really exceeded my expectations. We weren’t sure what to expect since we were playing so early- 1:00 PM, but it a lot of people roamed in. We’re playing four shows this week in total. One or two of them are official SXSW events, and then we’re doing a couple of day parties, as well. We had just started working with Ground Control Touring and they asked us to play their official party, and the rest snowballed from there. We figured if we’re coming down here we might as well make the most of it.

And are you guys on tour right now, or is this isolated?

Alex: No we’re just doing SXSW by itself right now. We get back into a heavier touring schedule starting in May, and the new album will be out first week of June.

So you guys drove all the way out from Buffalo, NY?

Alex: I did, yes but our bassist Max lives in Austin actually. Him being an Austin resident really helped out a lot. We have a free place to stay all week and it’s always nice to have someone with your crew that knows the city.

And have you played here before?

Sheena: We’ve played Austin, and come down for the festival before but this is new for us though, this is the first year we’ve played an official SXSW show. Last year we did a Transmission event called ‘Mess With Texas’, which was great. It was a free show with Odd Future, which was a lot of fun, but it’s nice to partake in the recognized shows.

Let’s talk about Bridge 9 a little, how did that relationship form?

Sheena: We heard from friends in New Found Glory and soul control that B9 had been listening to our older record ‘Get Better’ around the office. So when we started making ‘Pebble’ we just asked them if they were interested in helping release it and they said yes. We have a great relationship with Asian Man Records, who put our or previous releases, but it’s a bit more of a hobby label for him. He’s focusing on his family and stuff, so we needed a home that was a bit better equipped to fund our exploits. They’re so dedicated, it’s a really safe place to put out a record. And they just keep saying yes to everything! We’re like, “Hey we want to play SXSW” and Chris is like “Yep” “Hey, we were thinking about doing a book”, “Yep”. “Want to release a 7″?” “Yep”. It’s been really nice.

And how did you guys come into contact with Chris and the Bridge 9 Crew initially?

Sheena: I guess it all stemmed from a house show we played in Nashville a few years ago. Hayley from Paramore came out to see us. She’s such a sweet girl, always supporting small bands, wearing their shirts on stage, reblogging, etc. She really gives back to the independent music community. Her boyfriend is Chad from New Found Glory, who have put out material on B9. So we just all got to know each other after that show and it eventually led to a New Found Glory tour for us as well.

As fans are you guys looking forward to seeing anyone in Austin this week?

Alex: We were gonna check out Stevie Nicks at a panel, talking about her life and experiences. Should be really interesting. Also Laura Stevenson & The Cans, The Reigning Sound. Super melodic garage rock stuff.

Sheena: LL Cool J!